Descriptive Language

2 December 2023

9am-1pm CST

via zoom through the Loft

Descriptive language is a writer’s most powerful tool for creating what John Gardner called the best fiction—a vivid and continuous dream. Readings and writing exercises will focus on the importance of specificity, how to deftly work with adverbs and adjectives, describing with all five senses, and how to effectively communicate emotion. We will experiment with making the strange familiar and the familiar strange. We will read and discuss excerpts from the work of writers such as Jesmyn Ward, Lucia Berlin, Isaac Babel, Arundhati Roy, David Mitchell, and Chekhov.

Come prepared to write! Both writers of fiction and nonfiction will leave with a stronger sense of what constitutes excellent writing and how they might achieve it themselves.